Homebuying is one of the most stressful experience of an adult’s life. Navigating the homebuying process is incredibly complex and if any of the pieces don’t properly fall into place then a sale may never make it to closing. Before setting your heart on a property you should always ensure that the title on the property is clear in order to ensure you aren’t setting yourself up for heartbreak. Here are 5 things you should know about clear titles.
Steps Prospective Homebuyer Should Take to Ensure a Clear Title
In order for a property to be sold it needs to hold a clear title. This means it has to be free of liens. A lien is an unpaid debt that a creditor is owed and a lien cannot be removed from a property until it has been paid off. Different types of creditors may place liens on a property for debts such as backtaxes, child support, and property taxes.
Liens are put into place to ensure that the creditor will eventually be paid because while a debtor can ignore the debt for awhile, when they sell their home they will be forced to reconcile their liens. Unfortunately, liens can create headaches when it comes time to close so informed buyers are wise to do a title search before setting their hearts on a property.
A title search will reveal any liens on the property as well as any other complications that could delay your closing process including forgery, deed errors, and undisclosed heirs. By conducting a title search, you will be protecting yourself from hidden liens or other issues that may have arisen over the course of ownership of the home. Sometimes homeowners aren’t even aware that their property has issues so being proactive at this stage will save you headaches later.
While it is possible to conduct a title search yourself by perusing the public records that detail land conveyances, most buys choose to work with a title company that is equipped to conduct a thorough title search. Your title company will investigate records kept by the country registrar, real estate tax collection offices, and any circuit or district courts that manage real estate property. In general these records are not digitized which means all information must be gleaned from physical copies. This research will uncover liens, any unpaid real estate taxes, pending lawsuits, and probate proceedings.
After collecting the records, your title professional will pass the documentation on to a title examiner who will analyze which items need to be cleared before the sale can proceed.
Title Services from Colony Title Associates
Colony Title has been in business since 1995 and handles more than 2,000 real estate closings per year. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a representative about closing, please give us a call at 410-884-1160 or visit our website for more information.